36.  You enlarged my path under me;

This figure speaks of God making the way David should go plain to him.

So that my feet did not slip.

David did not wish to slip from the way God would have him go.  Thus he is grateful for the plainness of God in choosing his path for him.

37.  I have pursued my enemies and overtaken them;

Now David is altered from the fleeing fugitive to the attacking warrior.

Neither did I turn back again till they were destroyed.

After protesting that he has the gentleness of the Lord, such words of violence as these may seem shocking to some.  Yet we need to remember that David lived in a different dispensation than our own.  Instead of always showing grace to all men in all situations, God in that day was dealing with men often according to their works.  As such, He had enemies upon which He Himself had declared war.  It was at God’s orders that many peoples were wiped out completely.  God ordered what we would consider genocide against certain peoples.  We in our pride may think to quibble over God’s right to do this, yet one who truly believes that God knows best cannot deny His right or His rightness in wiping out those of His creatures whom He deems worthy of it.  Thus David’s actions towards people like these are consistent with God’s dealings in his day.  He cannot be blamed for actions such as this because they were entirely in line with what God would have him do.  Thus they became acts of obedience and faith.  Yet carrying out God’s wishes in matters like these could not make him into a bloodthirsty killer.  This is because he had God to give him His gentleness.

38.  I have wounded them,

David revels in his victory over these hated enemies.

So that they were not able to rise;

These tenses are all actually future in Hebrew.  Perhaps David is speaking of some future victory over the anti-Christ or some other such enemy of God’s in Kingdom days.

They have fallen under my feet.

Being under one’s feet means in his power.  This does not necessarily indicate that they were slain.

39.  For You have armed me with strength for the battle;

Again David credits God with strengthening him for the victory.

You have subdued under me those who rose up against me.

Unlike our day, when God does not take sides with any nation, God was clearly on David’s side against his enemies.  Thus He could be credited with their defeat.

40.  You have also given me the necks of my enemies,

Again the idea is of a victor placing his foot on his enemy’s neck, placing him in complete subjugation.

So that I destroyed those who hated me.

This could speak of destroying utterly their power to fight against him, and does not necessarily indicate that he took their lives, although it could certainly mean this.

41.  They cried out, but there was none to save them,

Now David speaks of the desperation of his enemies as they saw their defenses crumbling before David’s God-enabled onslaught.

Even to the LORD, but He did not answer them.

How ironic it is that even God’s most vocal enemies will often cry to Him when faced with mortal danger!  Yet this cry to the LORD is made far too late for David’s enemies, for the LORD is now their enemy as well and refuses to answer them.

42.  Then I beat them as fine as the dust before the wind;

Again this speaks of the utter annihilation of their power to war against him, and not necessarily of how he physically treats their bodies.  David would not sit there hacking and slashing his enemies’ bodies long after they were dead until they were fine as the dust!  We must not picture him as some bloodthirsty monster like this.  This is all poetic, figurative language.

I cast them out like dirt in the streets.

The figure is of bodies cast out, but it may again speak figuratively of casting them out of the armaments they trusted in for protection so that they are utterly subjugated under him.

43.  You have delivered me from the strivings of the people,

The people did indeed strive with David all his life!  There were always wicked men who opposed the righteous king David.  Thus this statement again takes us into the future when a resurrected David reigns as Prince (under Christ the King) over the nation of Israel.

You have made me the head of the nations;

This cannot merely refer to the nations of Israel and Judah because of the next statement.  This certainly was never true of David in his past life, so it must refer to the future.

A people I have not known shall serve me.

David did not know them either because they lived so far away, or perhaps because they did not even exist at the time David lived his past life on earth!  Perhaps even our nation, founded thousands of years after David’s death, may serve him in that future Day!

44.  As soon as they hear of me they obey me;

No great war is necessary here.  In God’s Kingdom the hearts of men will be changed to such an extent that they will be eager to obey God’s Prince!  How different from the hearts of men today.

The foreigners submit to me.

What a wonderful future God has in store for David!  Yes, we too must look forward to that future time when all on earth will be made right at last.

45.  The foreigners fade away,

This probably speaks of those who dwell in the land of Israel.  When God Himself gives Israel back their land, there will be no contentions with Muslims or anyone else to worry about!  It is only in our time when Israel attempts to take the land back themselves that they face such hardships.

And come frightened from their hideouts.

The fear of God and of David as His righteous Prince will cause the fugitives to realize that hiding from them is useless.

46.  The LORD lives!

This is an exclamation of praise made to the LORD.  In our day of men who think that “God is dead,” we can proclaim to the world this same glorious fact.

Blessed be my Rock!

This is the third reference to the LORD as Rock in this psalm.  God is the foundation upon which David both trusted in the past and will trust in the future.

Let the God of my salvation be exalted.

We acknowledge that God has far too low a place in the estimation of the vast majority of people in our day.  We indeed look forward to the day when God will be exalted in the eyes of all.  In the meantime, however, let Him be exalted in our eyes even now!

47.  It is God Who avenges me,

Again this is the singular El, the almighty God.  It is He Who saw to it that David’s enemies received their just reward.

And subdues the peoples under me;

Without God’s help David would never have been a king in the past.  And without His help David would never receive a throne again in the future.  Yet God is indeed the Almighty, and He is able to establish David’s throne once again!

48.  He delivers me from my enemies.

Again David speaks of God’s deliverance that he had experienced.

You also lift me up above those who rise against me;

God does not literally pick David up, of course.  This speaks of God bringing David into a position of authority over those who rebel against him.

You have delivered me from the violent man.

This no doubt refers to King Saul of the past.  However, it also applies to David’s and God’s great enemy of the future.

49.  Therefore I will give thanks to You, O LORD, among the Gentiles,

God’s deliverance of David generates in him a spirit of thanksgiving.  Thankfulness is indeed a response we all should have to God’s many works on our behalf.  How often are we ungrateful, being far more skilled at making requests to God than we are at thanking Him when He grants them.  We should remember all the things He has given us and be thankful, even as David was thankful for his deliverance.

The word “Gentiles” should be “nations.”  These words of praise written by David and dedicated for public worship are indeed a witness of David’s thankfulness before all nations that read them.

And sing praises to Your name.

Most likely this psalm was originally set to music, and David sang it in praise before the LORD.

50.  Great deliverance He gives to His king,

One last time David repeats the reason for the writing of this psalm, the reason for his thankfulness, and the reason for his praise.

And shows mercy to His anointed,

David speaks of the mercy he as God’s anointed had received.  The word “anointed” here is the Hebrew word Messiah.  David is one of several Messiah Kings spoken of in Scripture.  However, these statements no doubt also point to the greatest of all Messiahs, David’s Son and Lord.

To David and his descendants forevermore.

Not only does David receive God’s grace, but also his descendants.  And most of all, this applies to David’s greatest Descendant, our Lord Jesus Christ.

To the Chief Musician.

This psalm closes with this dedication, which marks this psalm out as one dedicated to public worship.  This is the reason it differs from David’s own private version in II Samuel 22.

Thus this great psalm comes to a close.  It contains much truth, and tells us much about God’s care for David in the past as well as His plans for David in the future.  Let us rejoice that we too enjoy God’s watch-care over us, and that we too can look forward to His great plans for us in the future Resurrection!

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